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To me, this story represents the kind of tale that many children might hear in order to learn how to keep themselves safe. Parents used tales of danger and even death to dissuade their children from taking risks and from disobeying them.
"Where are you going, where have you been" seems to fall under the spell of both "Hansel and Gretel" and the "Pied Piper of Hamlin." Both these stories feature children who fall prey to a hypnotic yet sinister person.
In the first children's tale, the unwanted children are lured by treats and then nearly captured and cooked by the wicked witch. This correlates with "Where are you going, where have you been" in that the protagonist feels unwanted by her parents and is hypnotized by the lure of rebellion and adulthood. Unfortunately, the sinister force is too strong, and the story has an assumed fatal ending.
The Pied Piper literally lures many children by the force of his beautiful music. The antagonist in our story does the same, only the children in this case are actually women. They find him sensual and alluring, until it is too late.
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